Europa #435 G-RODO Build Journal - 2004 02

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3 Find a couple of old cleaned and dried liquid soap dispenser pumps. Fill with resin and slow hardener. Use M10 nuts (10.5g each) and X2 transfer pin to mix about 50g epoxy. Pour most into flat plastic tray and leave that and the mixing cup in the resin cupboard to cure at about 13:30. At 14:10, still runny; gelled by 14:45. At 22:40, cured crack-hard.
5 Order aluminium channels (3" x 1.5" x 0.125" & 4" x 1" x 0.125") as recommended by Gary McKirdy from MetalsOnTheWeb, and Farecla G3 & G10 plus various grades wet & dry paper etc from CFS.
6 Ali channels & CFS order delivered. Cut 300mm lengths off both 3" and 4" channel. Cut 6-ply 10" x 16" BID layup sample to 2 off 9" x 8" sanding splines as per Europa manual chapter 36. Find mahogany for handles, bandsaw & plane to size. Fit to BID splines with screws.
7 Bandsaw foam to size for sandpaper backing on splines, and stick it on with 90-sec epoxy. Set up router on skis to plane foam flat. Hacksaw off highest edges to fit under router and slide around under ski frame to plane flat. Good results, but foam dust goes everywhere despite vacuum extractor. Round foam edges with file. Staple on 80 and 180 grit 3M grey sandpaper. Rub down and degrease starboard side of rudder with acetone. Using the 10.5gm nuts and the 3x peg, mix some slow-hardener epoxy and paint onto rudder starboard face. Shows signs of not covering well around hinges (some residual oil from freeing up the hinges, maybe) so wipe off and degrease more vigorously with acetone, taking care not to let it run onto rest of rudder. Re-paint those areas and they look better now. Mix another slow 3x batch of epoxy and add about 9 doses Expancel. Butter onto rudder - not quite enough. Repeat with another slow 3x batch, but still not quite enough. Repeat with slow 2x and about 6 doses Expancel, which just about covers it all. Using the heated aluminium u-channel as recommended by Gary McKirdy helps to spread it more evenly, but is not quite as easy or effective as I'd been led to expect! Could also do with another piece of channel to be warming while the first one is in use - or maybe even a permanently-attached heat source like an old iron. Need to think more about that. Erect curing tent and set fan heater thermostat to 3.5 with half-power selected. Gets to 29 C, 31% RH quite quickly. 664.1
8 Check curing - still seems a bit springy, so leave heat on.
9 Seems to be no harder than yesterday so turn off heat. I think the high filler content makes the epoxy feel less glass-hard than a normal layup.
10 Take down curing tent. Start sanding filler on starboard side of rudder. Easiest with Perma-Grit block, but it does tend to leave scratches. The obvious need is for secure hold-down of workpiece. Get out the table back-stop bar and a length of aluminium angle. Screw angle to edge of table to act as a stop for the TE. Try clamping down LE with long ali angle and wood spacer blocks. Much better, but still works loose when sanding vigorously. 665.7
13 Order Perma-Grit sheet for 4"x1" channel and 280mm sanding block. Get a bigger soap pump out of shed and clean it out for resin (original one emptying too fast). Phone Roger Huttlestone about trailer ramp brackets and he says they should be ready next week.
14 Perma-Grit order arrives.
16 Put away table backstop as it's not helping with the sanding. Bandsaw, plane & rout mahogany for handles to fit 4" aluminium sanding blocks. Cut existing 300mm one back to 280mm and cut anothe 280mm off stock length. Fit handles with screws. Mark and trim Perma-Grit sheets to 4" wide. Stick fine one onto angle with Araldite Rapid. Clamp in vice with g-cramps at ends to ensure good contact right out to corners. Quite cold in garage, so after initial cure, remove from vice, substitute Solo clamps in centre, and bring into house to cure fully overnight.
17 Uncramp fine 4" sanding block. Despite attempts to take care when clamping up, not perfectly aligned. Grind off small protruding edges of Perma-Grit sheet. Grinding also reveals it's not stuck along part of one edge. Separate poor joint with knife and introduce more Araldite. Re-clamp and cure inside over heating vent. Start to think about using the spare door as a base on which to clamp parts for sanding. It could be drilled werever necessary around edge of workpiece for clamps (of a design yet to be decided) and the door could easily be cramped to the table-top. This would be preferable to making holes in the tabletop for bench holdfasts. Stick coarse Perma-Grit sheet to 4" block and leave inside to cure overnight.
18 Uncramp coarse sanding block and clean off excess epoxy that had squeezed out (no risks of incomplete coverage this time!). Phone message from Roger Huttlestone to say the brackets are ready.
19 Pick up ramp brackets from Roger Huttlestone. We set up underfloor angle pieces at correct distance apart and Roger welds on another angle to keep them aligned and butt up against cross-piece. Offer up ramp brackets and they look quite promising. Offside (starboard) underfloor bracket needs trimming back to clear wood of floor joint reinforcement. Hacksaw off as needed and clean up tack welds on inside corner with angle-grinder to get good fit against cross-piece. Lower trailer nose to ground using engine crane, so as to get maximum working clearance under tail end. Extend parking jacks.
20 Clamp starboard underfloor bracket in place and drill for roofing bolts right through cross-members and floor. Fit bolts as drilling proceeds to keep bracket drawn up tight. Awkward working underneath trailer and hard to get good leverage for drilling. Break 2 off 6mm drill bits in process. Find drilling easier with a length of wood used as a lever between the ground and the back of the drill. Offer up ramp brackets and find they are slightly different. One is almost exactly perfect, the other will need a bit of persuasion. Look for 3mm plate for spacer to match hinge thickness (really annoyed I forgot to get some from Roger - he had plenty of bits lying around). Find a piece of aluminium that will just do for both packing pieces. Get more drill bits and M8x60 roofing bolts for ramp brackets. Phone Vanessa Summerhill about the taper pin mod for the TP torque tube and she gives me John Scott's mobile number.
21 Try to phone John Scott; no answer but he rings back later. He offers to put the complete kit of bits & information (including reamer) for the taper pin mod in the post to me, and is comfortable with the idea that the Europa Club might adopt it as a Club mod. Cut aluminium plate for starboard side ramp bracket. Offer up bracket again with ali packing piece in place and find a small amount of tweaking is needed to get the main part of the bracket vertical. Easy to adjust with flange part held in vice. Clamp up in correct alignment with underfloor bracket and drill, fitting M6 screws as holes made. Drill through 8mm holes into ramp. Lower ramp and fit M8 roofing bolts with 32mm washers. Raise ramp and check gas spring fits correctly within underfloor brackets. Mark holes in underfloor brackets by putting gas spring onto long bolt, outside of ramp bracket, then putting drill bit through other end of gas spring and swinging gas spring up & down slightly to scratch a mark on outer face of underfloor bracket. Repeat on other side. Drill through from each side with 6mm and then open up to 8mm. Offer up gas spring and the fit is about perfect, tending to need a slight compression of the spring (which is much better than erring in the opposite direction). Easiest to fit underfloor bolt first and then the other one. Lower ramp and it feels noticeably better. Check Light Aero & Skycraft online catalogues for AN386 taper pins. Skycraft don't list them, but Light Aero have a selection at prices from £1 to £4 (except the largest at £10 but I think that will be much too big).
22 Phone call from John Scott to say the taper reamer is with Mike Gregory so he will pass it to me at the Committee meeting. John has only one taper pin left in stock; seems Keith or Vanessa actually procured them so he's left a message with them to get in touch with me & let me know the part number & where to get it.
23 e-mail Mike Gregory & Tony Wakefield re taper pins & reamer. Fit port underfloor gas spring bracket on trailer. Offer up ramp bracket and trim to clear hinge knuckle. Trim more to prevent binding when ramp open. Cut aluminium packing to shape and offer up whole assembly. Bracket will now not reach ramp face so decide to dispense with ali packing. Re-trim bracket flange to clear hinge and offer up again - looks better but some adjustment of flange will be needed to get bracket vertical.
24 Check port ramp bracket fit again on trailer and bend flange slightly in vice. Cramp up, check alignment with underfloor bracket and drill for M6 bolts on hinge plate. Drill 8mm holes through ramp and fit roofing bolts with washers. One bolt loses its head! Find some M8 carriage bolts and swap one for the long M8 bolt on the starboard bracket. Temporarily fit the gas spring on the outside of the ramp bracket and use a drill bit as before in opposite-end eye to mark hole position. Drill right through both angles 6mm and open up to 8mm. Fit underfloor end of gas spring (slight non-squareness noted because I didn't mark both sides of angle) and then ramp bracket end. Try ramp opening and closing - excellent!
25 Get various M6 & M8 bolts and screws from Moorhouse Fasteners for final fixing of gas springs and brackets.

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